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Chicago Cubs: Midseason Report Cards for All 25 Players

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst INovember 1, 2016

Chicago Cubs: Midseason Report Cards for All 25 Players

1 of 26

    It's time for the midseason grade reports!

    The Cubs are currently tied for the worst record in baseball with the free falling Colorado Rockies, who lost a heart-breaker last night to the St. Louis Cardinals.

    While things have not gone the Cubs way this season, there are still glimmers of hope.

    Without further adieu, let's assess how each player is doing as we approach the All-Star break.  

Jairo Asencio

2 of 26

    Grade: B-

    Stats: 0-0 W-L, 2.84 ERA, 7 K, 9 BB in 11.2 innings with the Cubs

    It is a fairly small sample size, but since coming over to the Cubs, Asencio has been limited to a few outings but has not imploded. 

    The Cubs are giving him the experience they hope will turn him into a quality reliever. 

Shawn Camp

3 of 26

    Grade: A-

    Stats: 2-4 W-L, 2.93 ERA, 33 K, 10 BB, 1.14 WHIP

    Honestly, who would have thought Camp would be this good? 

    Camp has put together a string of solid seasons, very good, considering his years before that. I remember the Camp that posted a 7.20 ERA with Tampa Bay back in 2007 in 50 appearances.

    Camp will certainly be the Cubs setup man for the foreseeable future. He could even see some save opportunities if Carlos Marmol does not settle down.  

Manny Corpas

4 of 26

    Grade: B

    Stats: 0-0 W-L, 1.54 ERA, 8 K, 6 BB, 1.20 WHIP in 11.2 innings.

    Corpas has not had a good year in nearly five years. He was out of baseball in 2011 and is making his return with the lowly Cubs, probably for lack of a better option.

    Nevertheless, Corpas is holding his own and will absolutely get more opportunities as we push into the hot summer months.

    If it stays this hot, pitchers will need to be rotated more and more, carving out opportunities for himself one outing at a time.  

Rafael Dolis

5 of 26

    Grade: C-

    Stats: 2-4 W-L, 6.75 ERA, 11 K, 20 BB, 1.61 WHIP

    Dolis had people very excited early on in the season when he took over the closer role. But things quickly fell apart and he found himself back in Triple-A.

    Now he is just trying to find that early season confidence that put him on the radar in the first place. 

Matt Garza

6 of 26

    Grade: B

    Stats: 4-6 W-L, 4.01 ERA, 80 K, 26 BB, 1.16 WHIP

    Garza has been pretty good for the Cubs this season, but the poor run support and even worse bullpen has hurt his chances. 

    Still, he is a candidate to be traded and will likely be moved to a contender by the trade deadline. 

Paul Maholm

7 of 26

    Grade: B

    Stats: 6-6 W-L, 4.62 ERA, 60 K, 27 BB, 1.35 WHIP

    Maholm has really stepped up his game as of late, and is putting together consistently good starts. He is a middle-of-the-rotation starter at best, but if he can keep pitching like he is then he will hold that job with the Cubs for some time. 

Scott Maine

8 of 26

    Grade: C-

    Stats: 1-1 W-L, 6.94 ERA, 15 K, 6 BB, 1.20 WHIP in 11.2 innings

    Maine is hardly a mainstay for the Cubs, but he is eating up innings when called upon. Lefties are hitting just .071 against him, but righties own a .259 average and two home runs. 

Carlos Marmol

9 of 26

    Grade: C-

    Stats: 1-2 W-L, 4.74 ERA, 32 K, 25 BB, 8 SV, 1.74 WHIP

    Carlos Marmol has been wildly disappointing this season, but it hasn't been as bad as it seems for the fact of how bad the Cubs have been.

    A lot falls on the woes of the bullpen, who own a collective 4.47 ERA, fifth worst in the league.

    Marmol holds almost no trade value so he will likely be run out their with the hope he can turn it around before the season ends. If he doesn't, it is possible the Cubs will give some of their young pitchers in the minors an opportunity to pitch in the later innings.  

James Russell

10 of 26

    Grade: A-

    Stats: 2-0 W-L, 2.27 ERA, 32 K, 15 BB, 1.24 WHIP

    After a rough 2011, Russell is having a great year as the main lefty in the bullpen, pitching with great efficiency and becoming one of the teams most valuable arms.

    He is not a closer, but could prove to be a great late-inning specialist. He has surrendered just one run since June 12th. 

Jeff Samardzija

11 of 26

    Grade: B-

    Stats: 6-7 W-L, 4.77 ERA, 96 K, 35 BB, 1.37 WHIP

    Samardzija is having a seesaw season, coming off the worst month of his professional career when he went 0-4 with a 10.41 ERA in four starts. His last outing may have been the best of this season, and despite his struggles the Cubs are counting on him to lead this rotation in the future.

    Samardzija came in this season determined to be a starter. He has not disappointed, but he is working out the kinks and is poised to be a top-of-the-rotation starter in the future.  

Chris Volstad

12 of 26

    Grade: F

    Stats: 0-7 W-L, 7.94 ERA, 27 K, 17 BB, 1.65 WHIP

    Poor Chris Volstad. 

    The guy hasn't won a game in 20 appearances, dating back to the All-Star game of last season. The former first-round pick has not been able to settle down and he is drawing the ire of Cubs fans for his poor play. 

    Fortunately, this season is a year to work out of funks and develop, and hopefully Volstad will take the All-Star break to re-sync himself and come out firing. 

Travis Wood

13 of 26

    Grade: B+

    Stats: 3-3 W-L, 3.05 ERA, 39 K, 20 BB, 1.09 WHIP

    Travis Wood is the player that came to the Cubs through the Sean Marshall trade, and he is proving to be a great starting pitcher. 

    Wood will remain in the rotation indefinitely, and hopefully string together consistent quality starts.  

Steve Clevenger

14 of 26

    Grade: B-

    Stats: .279 AVG, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 13 R, .299 OBP in 104 at-bats

    In a limited capacity, Clevenger has had a decent season as a Cubs starting catcher. Manager Dale Sveum has not specified who is the starter, and both players are receiving relatively the same playing time.

    Neither are the answer going forward, but at least he is playing well in his first opportunity. 

Geovany Soto

15 of 26

    Grade: D

    Stats: .163 AVG, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 16 R, 27 K, 14 BB, .250 OBP in 129 at-bats

    Soto has been hindered by injuries but his poor play is seriously beginning to set in as permanent. He has shown no signs of improving and barely has a month of work under his belt. 

Jeff Baker

16 of 26

    Grade: C

    Stats: .247 AVG, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 18 R, .294 OBP

    Baker's value comes in his ability to play all over the field, but if he can't hit with some consistency his future with the team looks bleak.

    At least he is 3-for-10 as a pinch hitter, but he is seeing more regular playing time and has not performed as expected.  

Darwin Barney

17 of 26

    Grade: B-

    Stats: .264 AVG, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 35 R, .309 OBP, 5 SB

    Barney is having a below-average season at the plate, but he is getting noticed by his play in the field. Barney, a natural shortstop, is showing off great range at second base and will likely hold the position unless some young stud overwhelmingly out produces him at the plate.

    Personally, I don't see his future with the Cubs. His lack of production is a big red flag, especially for a team looking for more offensive activity. If he can hit above .280, we can address this situation again.  

Starlin Castro

18 of 26

    Grade: B

    Maybe I'm being too hard on him, but Castro's immaturity is showing this season. He doesn't seem to fully grasp his role with the team or with the franchise, and the mental gaffes on the field show his lack of discipline.

    He's also leaving a June behind where he hit .264 and struck out 21 times, but in the past, following a season-low hitting, he has come back swinging the following month. Hopefully that will be the case.

    Nevertheless, he is a great talent showcasing his variety of talent. His future may not be at shortstop, but he will certainly be a fixture for the Cubs going forward. 

Anthony Rizzo

19 of 26

    Grade: A

    Stats: .323 AVG, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, .344 OBP

    Well, the wait is over and Rizzo has not disappointed since joining the club. He is the everyday first baseman and No. 3 hitter and looks 10 times more comfortable than last season.

    He is here to stay.  

Luis Valbuena

20 of 26

    Grade: C+

    Stats: .216 AVG, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4 R, .250 OBP 

    Valbuena's strong season in Triple-A did not go unnoticed and now he is the everyday third baseman—as long as he can produce. He is hitting just .216 but has come up with some big hits since joining the Cubs, most recently a bases-clearing double against the Atlanta Braves

    With Stewart out indefinitely and the only real option in the minors being Josh Vitters, Valbuena has plenty of time to prove he can hold his own at the major league level. 

Tony Campana

21 of 26

    Grade: B-

    Stats: .272 AVG, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 20 R, 25 SB

    Campana has been an exciting young player for the Cubs this season, but he won't have a future as a starter unless he can hit for a higher average.

    His speed and range alone are exciting, but his starts are being limited by David DeJesus moving to center field to make room for Bryan LaHair in right to make room for Anthony Rizzo at first base.

    It's a vicious cycle! 

David DeJesus

22 of 26

    Grade: C+

    Stats: .272 AVG, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 38 R, 2 SB, 50 K, 30 BB, .362 OBP

    DeJesus was a surprising addition this past offseason that all but signaled the end of Tyler Colvin with the Cubs. The two-year, $10 million deal is not too bad financially, but it would be nice to see DeJesus at least hit for his career average of .283 or show some more pop. 

Reed Johnson

23 of 26

    Grade: C+

    Stats: .277 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 16 R, 36 K, 8 BB, .336 OBP

    It is nice to have Reed Johnson back in a Cubs uniform. The versatile and mild-mannered outfielder can fill a variety of roles, as a spot starter and pinch hitter. He's been a timely hitter as of late, and it would be nice to see him to continue to contribute. 

Bryan LaHair

24 of 26

    Grade: A-

    Stats: .293 AVG, 14 HR, 30 RBI, 32 R, 78 K, 28 BB, .371 OBP in 70 games

    As many people as LaHair has surprised by his strong play this season, there are a handful of people who are not surprised at all. His constant steps forward have not gone unnoticed and now he is an All-Star for the first time in his brief career. 

    The Cubs may look to trade him, but he is cost-controlled and could be a fixture for the Cubs in right field for the next few years. 

Joe Mather

25 of 26

    Grade: C-

    Stats: .236 AVG, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R, 26 K, 10 BB, .297 OBP in 127 at-bats

    Mather got off to a good start with the Cubs but is now essentially the odd man out in the outfield. With LaHair supplanted in the outfield, Johnson and Tony Campana are ahead of Mather on the list of reserve players.

    Still, Mather has performed better than he has in years and it is worth monitoring if the Cubs intend to keep him on the bench. 

Alfonso Soriano

26 of 26

    Grade: B-

    Stats: .269 AVG, 15 HR, 46 RBI, 30 R, 68 K, 19 BB, .325 OBP

    While Soriano's numbers aren't all too impressive, what is impressive is that he is hitting .287 with 15 home runs in 191 at-bats between May and June.

    He is definitely a trade candidate but will need to keep his strong play up in July in order to keep his value the highest its been in years.  

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